Big win for for­mer Shan­don golfer

The Hutt News - - OUT & ABOUT - MATTHEWTSO

‘‘As the round un­folded I was slowly creep­ing up the leader­board.’’

A Kiwi raised golfer has played the round of his life to win the Bri­tish Se­niors Ama­teur Cham­pi­onship.

For­mer Hutt Val­ley res­i­dent Bryan Hughes who played at Te Marua and Shan­don golf clubs, said the win on Au­gust 11 was ‘‘un­be­liev­able’’.

He climbed the leader­board in the fi­nal round of the cham­pi­onship af­ter start­ing the day seven shots back.

‘‘As the round un­folded I was slowly creep­ing up the leader­board, sixth by the 10th [hole], third by the 14th, so I was think­ing at this stage I could get a medal but not win.’’

As he ap­proached the 18th hole at Sun­ning­dale Golf Club in Berk­shire, England, he was only two shots be­hind the leader who still had three holes to play.

‘‘I [was] think­ing ‘birdie the last hole and see what hap­pens’.’’

Hughes had a ner­vous wait while the Amer­i­can who had been lead­ing the tour­na­ment com­pleted his round. A poor fin­ish by the Amer­i­can sealed Hughes’ win by two shots.

It was a re­mark­able win for Hughes who re­ceived a late en­try into the cham­pi­onship, hav­ing been on the re­serve list only a week ear­lier.

The ti­tle marked his big­gest in­di­vid­ual win on a golf course. It was his first se­nior tour­na­ment, hav­ing turned 55 only four days be­fore the cham­pi­onship stated on Au­gust 9.

Hailed as the first English­man to win the ti­tle since 2003, Hughes was born in Liver­pool and moved with his fam­ily to New Zealand when he was young. He grew up in Up­per Hutt where he joined Te Marua Golf Club, later mov­ing to Shan­don.

He moved to the UK in 1988 be­fore re­turn­ing to New Zealand in 1992 where he re­joined Shan­don. Hughes shifted to the UK again in 2004 and now plays his golf at Hes­keth Golf Club.

The win has opened doors for Hughes, with a life­time ex­emp­tion into the Bri­tish Se­nior Ama­teur Cham­pi­onship and an in­vi­ta­tion to the Bri­tish Se­nior Open at St An­drews next year which he was look­ing for­ward to.

He also earned se­lec­tion for England in the Euro­pean Team Cham­pi­onship in Swe­den next week and Home In­ter­na­tion­als in Ire­land later in Septem­ber.

Bryan Hughes af­ter his win at the Se­nior Ama­teur Cham­pi­onships.

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